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Venice Train Depot

303 E Venice Ave, Seaboard Avenue, Venice, FL 34285-4617
+1 941-412-0151
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Train museum

Thought it was a train enthusiast museum for our friend but no trains, however it was a fascinating... read more

Reviewed 1 July 2017
a4be
,
Venice, Florida
Worth popping by

A nice place to take a walk. Very clean and has a security guard. Museum not open when we visited... read more

Reviewed 21 June 2017
Christine M
,
Southampton, United Kingdom
via mobile
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Free Train Depot Tours are available on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10 am - 3 pm November 1st through April 30th. This is in addition to our year-round tours available on Saturdays from 10 am - 1 pm. Docents are VAHS members. In 1903, a subsidiary of the Seaboard Air Line Railway brought the first train into what is now Sarasota County. In 1911, the tracks were extended 16.5 miles south at the request of Bertha Honore Palmer, a Chicago businesswoman who was a major landholder in the area. Palmer named the new terminal Venice. The original train stop and sidings were located near the current corner of St. Augustine Avenue and Tampa Avenue West. In 1925, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers (BLE) purchased land to develop the City of Venice according to a plan drafted by city planner John Nolan. The BLE recognized that a new depot would be essential for importing materials and attracting potential land buyers and visitors to Venice. Completed in 1927 at the height of Venice's early development, the new Depot was the last structure built before the BLE closed operations in Venice in 1928. Designed by the architectural firm of Walker & Gillette, the Depot is historically and architecturally significant. Built as a racially segregated building with two waiting rooms, it was 50 feet wide and 400 feet long. The Depot's architecture embodies the Mediterranean Revival style planned for the City of Venice. When opened on March 27, 1927, the Depot heralded as the finest station on the Seaboard Air Line Railway. The last passenger train departed from the Depot in 1971, but freight traffic continued until 1997. The Depot building closed in 1975, and it subsequently fell into disrepair and decline. Sarasota County purchased the structure in 1999 and renovated it in 2002-2003. Dedicated on October 24, 2003, the restored Depot stands as a magnificent representation of the architecture of early Venice. The renovation added 40 feet on the south side of the building, and the additional space accommodates the Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT) bus system hub at the Depot.
  • Excellent45%
  • Very good38%
  • Average15%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
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Closed Now
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Hours Today: 10:00 - 13:00
LOCATION
303 E Venice Ave, Seaboard Avenue, Venice, FL 34285-4617
CONTACT
Website
+1 941-412-0151
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1 - 10 of 52 reviews

Reviewed 1 July 2017

Thought it was a train enthusiast museum for our friend but no trains, however it was a fascinating inside to the history of venice

Thank a4be
Reviewed 21 June 2017 via mobile

A nice place to take a walk. Very clean and has a security guard. Museum not open when we visited but still worth a look.

Thank Christine M
Reviewed 26 May 2017 via mobile

Very clean station, gypsies out in full force. Watch your belongings. Signage and staff helpful. We enjoyed breakfast with coffee for a reasonable price. Great coffee

Thank Miriamborysbusby
Reviewed 8 March 2017 via mobile

Take a step back in time and see how Americans lived back when. Great free guided tour full of history. Beautiful scenery. Cool circus history too. Go!

Thank SuncoastTravelers
Reviewed 22 February 2017 via mobile

Wonderful place to learn about the Ringling Brothers circus and a bit of history for the circus housing, transportation. Dave is a docent there and he does a fabulous job in describing the times.

Thank 318kendal
Reviewed 6 February 2017

Sweet little museum loaded with history about the founding of Venice and, of course, the role of the railroad in the community. I had a lovely lady (complete with railroad cap) give me a tour. The old rail car wasn't open when I was there,...More

Thank Pamela W
Reviewed 12 October 2016

So much history ///tour is incredible...It will blow your mind away...tour is free...and will keep you well informed...caboose is not far away...

Thank Kearhartkbds
Reviewed 21 August 2016

I grew up in Venice and remember when the Ringling Brothers Circus came to town for the Winter. It was so exciting to see the animals getting off. I am so glad they restored the train station to preserve the nostalgia of our town. The...More

Thank Marie C
Reviewed 29 April 2016

Absolutely one of the best local tours we have had. Our Docent, Ann Thompson was very articulate and knowledgeable of the history of Venice, FL, the railroad, circus and Kentucky Military Institutes contribution to the creation and growth of Venice. We salute the Venice Historical...More

2  Thank dthorpeiii
anthompson, Historic Venice Train Depot Docent at Venice Train Depot, responded to this reviewResponded 1 May 2016

Dan and Barbara Thorpe, from the Florida Railroad Museum in Parrish, FL, visited the Historic Venice Train Depot on Friday. As the Docent that morning, I enjoyed swapping stories with the Thorpes and discussing the importance of preserving history. Their museum actually offers train rides,...More

Reviewed 10 March 2016

They stand mostly abandoned and forgotten all over our vest country, build by RR system. The Train Depot in Venice is one of lucky ones that received TLC from the local train enthusiasts and people who care about our history and heritage. One doesn't have...More

1  Thank Albert L
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Questions & Answers
Garry S
29 September 2016|
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Response from dthorpeiii | Reviewed this property |
The Depot is open •year-round on Saturday from 10 AM to 1 PM, with the last docent-led tour beginning at 12:30, and •November through April on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 AM to 3 PM, with the last docent-led tour... More
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